Barons: Win streak at four after 5-3
win over Houston
Mulick goal and Michalek return
makes it game of firsts
1/21/04 - by Craig
Cleveland defenseman Robert Mulick scored his first
professional goal Friday night and the Sharks top draft pick from 2003, Milan
Michalek, appeared in his first game after injuring his knee early in the NHL
season as the Barons defeated the Aeros 5-3 before a Gund Arena crowd of 6,125.
With the win, the Barons drew even with Rochester for second place in the
AHLs North Division.
Mulick, more than four years and 238 games
into his pro career, shot the puck into traffic from the blue line midway
through the second period. It took several detours before slipping past Houston
goalie Frederic Cloutier. The tally gave the Barons a 3-1 lead that eventually
grew to 5-2 before the end of the middle period. Mulicks goal snapped a
dubious AHL record for consecutive goal-less games.
Milan Michalek was reassigned to Cleveland this week and saw ice time Friday
night as he works himself back into game shape coming off an early season knee
injury. Any fears of whether he was ready for game action were quickly put to
rest early in the contest. As Michalek was racing along the side boards on a
Barons rush, a Houston defender checked Michalek hard into the boards and he
jumped up unfazed.
In addition to Mulick, other goal contributors for
Barons included Tavis Hansen, a pair of goals from Brad Boyes and Miroslav
Zalesaks 22nd goal of the season. Seamus Kotyk was superb in goal for the
Barons recording 40 saves on the night and winning at home for the first time
since February of last year. Especially impressive was Kotyk stopping a flurry
of shots during the last minute of play after Houston pulled their goalie. The
Barons return to action Saturday night at Grand Rapids before returning home
Sunday to face the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.
Doug Wilson, general manager of the
parent San Jose Sharks, made his first visit to Cleveland this season and
watched Friday nights game along with several members of the San Jose pro
The Barons four-game win streak matches the longest
streak in their 2 ½ seasons in Cleveland. The Barons improved to
20-14-4-5 with the win. Last season, Cleveland did not secure its 20th victory
until March 1the 63rd game.
With Michalek joining the Barons,
Cleveland now has three 1st round draft picks on the rosterMichalek,
Boyes & Goc.
The Gund Arena crowd Friday night was treated to a
considerable presence from Cleveland Indians prospects and members of the
major-league club. They were on hand as part of an Indians on Ice
promotion. Goalie Seamus Kotyk was unable to secure the ceremonial first pitch
from Indians catcher Josh Bard, as the baseball popped in and out of
Kotyks goalie glove.
Stars of the Game
Brad Boyes (2
goals, 1 assist, 4 SOG, +1 rating)
Tavis Hansen (1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG,
Robert Mulick (1 goal, 3 SOG, +1 rating)
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